Automated Lottery Subscriptions Are Tricky
Let’s face it – we’re all lazy individuals. If there’s a way to make things simpler and more convenient, we’ll be more than happy to give it a try (speaking from personal experience, of course). The bad news is that laziness can sometimes have consequences. Automated lottery subscriptions are one such tricky concept that seems like a good thing, but that could potentially be bad… really, really bad.
Wondering what the fuss is all about? Let’s take a look at what automated lottery subscriptions are and why they suck.
What are Automated Lottery Subscriptions?
As the name indicates, automated lottery subscriptions free you from having to do anything in order to purchase those coveted tickets.
An automated lottery subscription is a common practice among some online lottery agents and though it’s supposed to be a good thing, it happens to be quite misleading numerous times. Here’s a simple example that demonstrates the concept and what it’s all about.
Imagine that you live in Switzerland and you want to buy US PowerBall tickets. You choose an online lottery agent that has a representative in the US. This representative will be responsible for purchasing the ticket(s) on your behalf. You want to buy five tickets in an attempt to increase your chance of hitting the jackpot for the respective drawing or for five drawings to come. After making the payment, you think that you’re done and you’ve bought tickets solely for this drawing or for the respective number of drawings that you’ve indicated when making the purchase.
Well, my friend, you’re wrong.
If the website’s terms and conditions state that automated subscriptions are the default option, you’ll get billed for five tickets for the upcoming PowerBall drawing and the one after, and the one after, and the one after. You get the picture. The subscription for the respective number of tickets and the respective lottery will be renewed automatically unless you find the option that enables you to unsubscribe.
The Pitfalls of Automated Lottery Subscriptions
People who are passionate about a certain lottery and wouldn’t want to miss a draw will certainly feel excited about an opportunity like an automated subscription. Let’s say you’ve been playing EuroMillions every week, ever since you can remember. You always submit the same number of tickets and you always choose the same numbers. In this instance, an automated lottery subscription is a good thing. You don’t have to go through the process – the tickets will automatically be purchased on your behalf.
A casual lottery fan, however, is probably going to experience many more disadvantages than benefits by opting for automated lottery subscriptions.
The most important shortcomings are quite easy to see. Here’s a list of the features that make automated lottery subscriptions a really bad thing:
- You’re probably unaware that you’ve agreed to the automatic renewal of the ticket-buying subscription: this is probably the biggest problem that comes with the practice. Many online lottery agents lack transparent and clearly-defined policies when it comes to automatic renewals. They keep on billing clients until people find out about the practice and start looking for a way out. As long as the possibility is announced upfront and the subscriber is given a choice, there’s nothing to worry about.
- It makes you spend more: let’s face it – the simplicity of the automated lottery subscription makes it incredibly easy to spend bigger amounts than planned on lottery tickets. Most people don’t purchase a ticket for every single drawing. They decide to give the option a try whenever there’s a big jackpot. Sometimes they buy one ticket, sometimes they buy five. The automated subscription takes flexibility out of the equation and it contributes to bigger spending than anticipated.
- It could be very difficult to opt-out of: when players opt out of the automated subscription for a certain number of drawings, the online agent is losing money. That’s why it could be particularly difficult, almost impossible to opt-out of the automated subscription. Many websites feature a complicated and convoluted process that isn’t very easy to complete.
How to Protect Yourself
The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to choose the right online lottery agent. Reputable websites that are focused on stellar customer service will never adopt such practices and force their clients in making purchases that they’re not particularly interested in.
You may want to read online reviews – there are dozens of testimonials about online lottery ticket-purchasing options. Go through the experiences of people that have already used the service. This way, you can figure out whether it’s a reliable one.
When signing up, you should also read the terms and conditions. Yep, we’re talking about the document that 99 percent of people ignore. If you don’t read the information, including the fine print at the bottom, you may end up spending a lot more than you’d originally planned. Make sure there’s no default automated subscription and that your permission will be required to activate such a service.
Lotteries are a lot of fun and websites that give you a chance to purchase international tickets make this world even more exciting. To be completely happy with the process, however, you’ll have to do your homework in advance. Being responsible and making rational choices will help you save some money and enjoy every dollar that you’ve won. Remember that if something appears too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid websites that aren’t giving you a clear process and all important information in advance. Otherwise, you may end up regretting your choice.